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    The Garrett Collection 1834 Capped Head Half Eagle

    1834 $5 Capped Head, Crosslet 4 MS64 NGC. B. I-3, Breen-6500, Bass-3166, Miller-172, R.6. This is only the ninth time we have handled an 1834 Capped Head half eagle in the past dozen years. Prior to the present offering, only three of those were Mint State, and this example is clearly the finest we have ever offered. Considering all varieties, NGC has certified four examples in MS64 grade and two Gem MS65 coins. It is possibly that this coin does not actually appear in that Census, however, as it has been incorrectly identified by NGC as "Crosslet 4, Classic $5."
    By 1834, and actually long before, it was realized that gold coinage production could not continue as it had, for the gold content actually exceeded the face value. Congress passed new legislation lowering the weight of all our gold coinage, promoting renewed circulation. The Act of June 28, 1834, which was to take effect on August 1, specified a new weight of 129 grains of standard gold for the half eagle. The same Act specified that half eagles coined previously were to be receivable at the rate of 94.8 cents per pennyweight, or $5.095 each, very nearly the actual gold value at the time. At the time, the Bechtler family, producers of private gold coinage in the Carolinas, adjusted the weight of their own coinage to meet the Federal standard.
    Few examples of the 1834 Capped Head half eagle survive today, and seldom are they found any nicer than this. It is a very sharply struck example with fully brilliant, prooflike surfaces and excellent cameo contrast. The surfaces have bright greenish-gold color with only a few tiny blemishes. Searching for pedigrees can sometimes be a difficult task, especially when the coin is nice enough to have few visible pedigree markers. Such is the case here, although we believe that this is the Garrett Collection specimen. There is a faint patch of roughness at the left top of C and the right top of A in AMERICA. These appear to match the plate in the Garrett (Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 25RP, PCGS# 8161)

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2006
    1st-4th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,116

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